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3.9-27  Public Nuisance - Intentional or Negligent

Revised to January 1, 2008

A public nuisance can be created intentionally or negligently.  A nuisance is created intentionally if the creator of the condition intends the act that brings about the condition.  It does not mean that the creator intended a wrong, or intended an injury to occur, or even intended to cause a nuisance, but merely that the one who created the condition intended to act as (he/she) did.

If you find that a nuisance existed and that the act that created it was an intentional one, then this is called an absolute nuisance, and the creator of the nuisance is held strictly liable.  That means the creator cannot claim comparative negligence on the part of the plaintiff as a defense, but must be fully responsible for any damages you find were proximately caused by the nuisance.

If you find that a nuisance existed and that it arose out of the creator's unintentional but negligent act -- that is, the failure to exercise due care -- then the resulting nuisance is called a negligent nuisance.  That means that the creator is entitled to claim, and you may consider whether, the plaintiff contributed through the plaintiff's own negligence to the injuries (he/she) suffered.


See Quinnett v. Newman, 213 Conn. 343, 348 (1990), overruled on other grounds by Craig v. Driscoll, 262 Conn. 312, 313 (2003), and 4 Restatement (Second), Torts 825 (1979) for discussion of absolute nuisance.


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